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National trends in oropharyngeal cancer incidence and survival within the Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

Zevallos JP, Kramer JR, Sandulache VC, Massa ST, Hartman CM, Mazul AL, Wahle BM, Gerndt SP, Sturgis EM, Chiao EY. National trends in oropharyngeal cancer incidence and survival within the Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Head & neck. 2021 Jan 1; 43(1):108-115.

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BACKGROUND: Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) epidemiology has not been examined previously in the nationwide Veterans Affairs (VA) population. METHODS: Joinpoint regression analysis was applied to OPSCC cases identified from VA administrative data from 2000 to 2012. RESULTS: We identified 12?125 OPSCC cases (incidence: 12.2 of 100?000 persons). OPSCC incidence declined between 2000 and 2006 (annual percent change [APC] = -4.27, P? < .05), then increased between 2006 and 2012 (APC = 7.02, P? < .05). Significant incidence increases occurred among white (APC = 7.19, P? < .05) and African American (APC = 4.87, P? < .05) Veterans and across all age cohorts. The percentage of never-smokers increased from 8% in 2000 to 15.7% in 2012 (P? < .001), and 2-year overall survival improved from 31.2% (95% confidence interval (CI) [30-33.4]) to 55.7% (95% CI [54.4-57.1]). CONCLUSIONS: OPSCC incidence is increasing across all racial and age cohorts in the VA population. Smoking rates remain high among Veterans with OPSCC and gains in survival lag those reported in the general population.

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